Would You Save A Stranger?

Would You Save A Stranger?

"The first thing you ask yourself is…am I going to do anything about it?"

A 12-year-old girl is beaten and stamped on by a crowd of teenagers on a crowded bus. A man is punched to the ground and kicked repeatedly in the head in an almost deserted London street. Gun-wielding robbers threaten a cashier in a petrol station.

Confronted with a vicious, public attack on a complete stranger, witnesses in five separate incidents are forced to decide - intervene and risk their own safety or disengage and turn away. Whether they choose the path of a 'have-a-go-hero' or passive bystander, their decisions will stay with them for the rest of their lives.

Would You Save a Stranger? examines the events leading up to these unprovoked attacks as the victims and onlookers describe what happened. The first-hand testimony of those involved is intercut with CCTV footage and dramatic reconstruction, as the stories unfold to reveal the split-second choices that were made. Whilst some witnesses are seemingly paralysed by fear, others step in - some escape unscathed while others pay a heavy price for their courage.

These stories of ordinary people faced with critical decisions epitomise a moral dilemma that has become a modern obsession in Britain - has the fabric of our society disintegrated - are we an anonymous collective of strangers, interested only in self-preservation? Or as a nation, can we look out for one another?

As the mother of one victim describes: "If you're hurting, I can't walk past you without seeing if there's something I can do. Every person that I meet is part of my world, fleetingly probably in most cases…I don't expect somebody else to do things, I expect me to do something, I expect you to do something."

Would You Save A Stranger?
Wednesday, 24 November 2010
ABC2
8:30pm
http://abc.net.au/iview

 

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